Malta: Country and Foreign Investment
Malta has an excellent business infrastructure with good telecommunications; this coupled with the widespread use of the English language and a reasonably open and efficient public administration makes the island a very convenient and effective business base. Valletta, the administrative capital, is also the chief business centre.
The Government, after a bad period in the 70's, is welcoming to external investment, and foreigners are permitted 100% ownership of enterprises in almost all sectors. There are extensive investment incentive schemes (see below). More than 200 foreign companies have set up manufacturing operations in Malta.
There are a number of local banks, but foreign banking activity was heavily controlled in Malta until quite recently. Business legislation has created special offshore regimes for a variety of types of business, including shipping companies, mutual funds and banks. There is also legislation for Trusts modelled on English trust law, which was updated in 2004.
Taxation for offshore entities is very light, and Malta is unusual among low-tax countries in having tax treaties with 70 other countries, including most OECD countries.